Memoir Debuts A “Predictive” Photo-Sharing App For iOS 8

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Photo-sharing application Memoir, launched last fall to make it easier to rediscover your photo memories through a combination of advanced search features and a time-capsule-like function, similar to competitor TimeHop. But one of the app’s more interesting features was a way to request photos from other users. Today, thanks to iOS 8, that option has now been improved.

The company calls this new feature “Predictive Photo Sharing,” and, simply put, it’s a way to better automate sharing photos with friends who were with you at the time the photos were first snapped.

“Context is a major focus of iOS 8,” explains co-founder and CEO Lee Hoffman. “Many of the new APIs — core location, today extensions — allow developers to figure out (in a very permission-centric way) where you are and who you are with, and then give you amazingly relevant content,” he says.

The new Predictive Photo Sharing specifically takes advantage of an iOS 8 feature called “Visit Monitoring,” which is part of the iOS 8 Core Location Framework.

Memoir-Shared-PhotosWhat happens is that, once a user gives permission, iOS will send background updates to the Memoir app to let it know when you arrive and leave a given location. The app then uses that data to figure out which of your friends you were with, where and when, then makes it really easy to share your photos with them.

To do so, Memoir will visually suggest which of your photos to share and with who, and you can respond to that suggestion with just a tap. On the flip side, it also gives you the opportunity to request photos from friends who were at that location or event, too. (Memoir doesn’t let you see these photos in advance, but it will let you know if a friend has photos to share and you can push a button to make this request).

For example, in my Notifications feed, Memoir tells me that a friend has a few photos from a group outing a while back, and do I want them?  Yes, yes I do. So I tap to request them.

In your Memoir photo feed, meanwhile, the app shows you which friends to share with by displaying their profile photo in small, rounded icon beneath the photos themselves. To initiate the sharing, you just tap that icon. The icon then lights up, going from gray to full color, and is highlighted with a green outline so it’s obvious with just a glance whether photos have been shared.

Of course, all this magic does require that you have friends on the app, which is always a challenge for newcomers in the photo-sharing space. (You can type in a name or email address to share with those Memoir didn’t identify already, or who have yet to join the app, but it’s not quite the same.)

In addition to Predictive Photo Sharing, Memoir’s version 2.0 also includes an updated, simplified user interface, and support for an iOS 8 extension that will show you if you have memories from that day without you having to open the app.

The company declines to say how many users it has currently but notes that those it does have are “very” active every day.

As for the TimeHop comparison, Hoffman admits there is some crossover, but Memoir’s overall goal is different.

“While there are similarities in a lot of memory products, we’ve found both in our data and qualitatively that the real value of memories is being able to relive them with other people (just the right people),” he says. “It’s an inherently social experience. And we are 100 percent focused on making that an amazing and frictionless experience.”

Memoir is a free download here on iTunes.